We’re not entirely sure why, but it seems apt that the first and longest stage of this year’s Tour of Britain is sponsored by a beer company. The 2012 Grand Depart will take the riders 200km across Suffolk and Norfolk – starting on the waterfront at Ipswich before heading up to Southwold, the home of brewers Adnams.
Before the riders can even think about a cheeky half they’ll have enjoyed an early sharpener with a sprint after just half-an-hour of riding at Melton and two Skoda King of the Mountains climbs. Okay, this is East Anglia so Alps are in short supply but the category 3 climbs on the first stage will go someway to proving that this neck of the woods isn’t completely flat. Predictions? It’s a long, largely flat stage, which could mean attacks and breakaways en route, but we reckon they’ll be chased down by the sprinters’ teams.
Mildly interesting stage fact off of the Internet
Great Yarmouth, setting for the second Yodel sprint of the day, is said to be home to Britain’s oldest surviving civic building – The Tollhouse.